Friday, June 14, 2024

Secretary Michael Watson Warns of Increasing Uses of Elder Financial Exploitation

JACKSON, Miss. - In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2024, Secretary of State Michael Watson urges Mississippians to educate themselves on the increasing occurrences of elder financial exploitation, and the steps to identify possible warning signs.

Financial exploitation on the elderly (aged 60+) is recognized as one of the fastest-growing forms of elder abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are two types of elder financial exploitation. Financial fraud is committed by a stranger and includes investment, imposter, romance, and phishing scams, among others. Financial abuse is committed by someone known and could include power of attorney abuse, theft by someone who works at a nursing home, or forgery. 

The elderly lose an estimated $36 billion dollars per year due to financial exploitation and only one in 24 cases is reported to authorities. Many scammers, disguised as financial professionals, target elderly people to access their investments. Those with dementia or other conditions requiring full-time care are especially vulnerable. They are less equipped to defend themselves or report suspicious activity.

"It is heartbreaking to see the greatest generation targeted because of their vulnerability. All citizens deserve the same dignity and respect, and we will continue to protect this exceptional group of Mississippians."

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is part of Elder Abuse Awareness Month (June).

For questions or concerns, Mississippians are encourage to contact our Securities Division at or (601) 359-1334.






Elizabeth Holbert Jonson | 601-927-8688